In Hamlet's soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 2, what is his internal conflict?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hamlet's soliloquy in Act II Scene ii follows after he meets his friends from England and they reveal that they were summoned by his uncle and mother to "help" him. They also tell him that they have brought along an actor, or player, who could perform for him to provide some entertainment and lighten his burdens. After they leave, Hamlet compares himself to the actor and wonders if the actor would have no trouble taking action against his uncle as Hamlet has. Hamlet calls himself a rascal, a John-a-dreams, a whore, and even a coward while he answers rhetorical questions to find the answer to how he should act since his uncle killed his father and married his mother. These are all very graphic images of lazy or cowardly people with whom he relates because he hasn't come to a decision about how to act in his current situation. Hence, he comes up with the idea to present the murder in the play to gather more evidence about his uncle's participation in the killing and also buy himself some time to figure out how he will act. (Hamlet II.ii.561-600.)

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